Turner planning for India launch

Move starts with Hindi entertainment channel

Turner Intl. will launch a cluster of local TV channels in India. The nets will be owned and operated through a joint venture with local entertainment firm Alva Bros. whose assets include Miditech a TV production company.

Operation will start with the launch of a Hindi-language general entertainment channel at an unspecified time and be followed by other specialized nets, some potentially in other Indian languages.

Alva and Turner, part of the Time-Warner conglom, will each hold a 50% stake in the unnamed JV. Additionally, Turner will acquire a 29% stake in Miditech. Turner is buying a 25% stake from the ICICI venture capital fund and additional shares from the owners Nikhil and Niret Alva.

After the deal Miditech will continue to act as a third-party supplier of shows for other nets.

“Investing in this well-established content company and launching yet another channel underscore Turner’s commitment to further grow its business,” Steve Marcopoto, President, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., said. “With our ongoing pursuit of international growth, India will continue to be a focal point.”

“The channel will provide fresh alternative content to an increasingly discerning audience,” said Nikhil Alva, co-promoter of Alva Bros.

In Asia Turner distributes CNN Intl., CNN Japan, CNN Headline News, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, Pogo and Boomerang.

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